THE KENZAN BRAND OF PAINTED POTTERY

The painted ceramics of Ogata Kenzan (1663–1743)  are elegant and harmonious. They match shape to decoration beautifully and they render natural motifs fluently in an almost abstract way.  They are so revered in Japan and the West that there is almost a cult of Kenzan.Bernard Leach worked in the Kenzan tradition and his occasional brush … Continue reading THE KENZAN BRAND OF PAINTED POTTERY

FERRONI’S "THE SUPPER AT EMMAUS" IN SANTA MARIA DI MONTESANTO

The Supper at Emmaus, Riccardo FerroniRome is so full of churches, and so many of them are dedicated to Mary, that it's easy to go to the wrong one.  We meant to go to Santa Maria del Popolo in the Piazza del Popolo to see the two Caravaggios, The Crucifixion of St Peter and The Conversion … Continue reading FERRONI’S "THE SUPPER AT EMMAUS" IN SANTA MARIA DI MONTESANTO

STIG LINDBERG’S CERAMICS AND BIOMORPHIC DESIGN

Faience vases by Stig Lindberg (1950s)In ceramics, joie de vivre is usually associated with the Mediterranean – the tin-glazed pottery of Spain or Vallauris.  But there's something about tin-glaze itself that brings it out, even in the north.  One of its great exponents was Stig Lindberg (1916-1982), the prolific Swedish designer who spent most of … Continue reading STIG LINDBERG’S CERAMICS AND BIOMORPHIC DESIGN

MODERNIST CERAMICS BY PICASSO, MIRÓ, LURÇAT AND THE BAYSWATER THREE

In the dark, grey days of post-war austerity, the ceramists William Newland, Margaret Hine (above) and Nicholas Vergette, known as The Bayswater Three, found a ready market for their cheerful, Mediterranean-influenced pottery and they did well with contracts from the newly-emerging coffee bars. They were influenced by the ceramics of Picasso (below), who took up pottery … Continue reading MODERNIST CERAMICS BY PICASSO, MIRÓ, LURÇAT AND THE BAYSWATER THREE

PAINTED POTTERY BY ALFRED AND LOUISE POWELL

A sugar bowl by Alfred and Louise Powell for Wedgwood, 1920s.Alfred trained as an architect, Louise as an embroiderer and a calligrapher. Alfred persuaded Wedgwood to revive the art of freehand painting on pottery, one of the most successful marriages of Arts and Crafts ideas with industrial manufacturing, lasting until the late 1930s. The Powells worked … Continue reading PAINTED POTTERY BY ALFRED AND LOUISE POWELL

SHAPING CERAMICS: FROM LUCIE RIE TO EDMUND DE WAAL

In a ground-breaking exhibition, “Shaping Ceramics: From Lucie Rie to Edmund de Waal”, the Jewish Museum London shows the impact on studio pottery in Britain of Jewish artists who fled Nazi Europe. Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Grete Marks and Ruth Duckworth brought a modernist aesthetic to the craft. The exhibition also shows the work of … Continue reading SHAPING CERAMICS: FROM LUCIE RIE TO EDMUND DE WAAL